Hi everyone!! I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Lauren and I’m the official voice and typist for Knightly Chance the standard Moodle, my best friend who is currently napping on my pillow (our pillow now!) on the bed after a massive morning.
Knightly, Paige and I go for a half an hour walk every week day (longer on the weekends!) to keep fit and happy (and so Knightly can pee on every rose bush he can find!). Even when I have a super hectic day ahead of me, these walks are what keeps the three of us sane. Plus it is so much fun walking with such happy bouncy dogs, it makes the sun shine a little brighter for me!
Some times we are lucky enough to meet other friendly happy dogs out with their owners for their walk. This is always a bit of a highlight for the three of us! Knightly and Paige adore meeting new friends, both animal and human, and it leaves them so happy and excited it makes something as fun as walking even more fun.
However last week we weren’t so lucky. At the start of our walk we noticed a terrier running along the other side of the street with it’s owner running after it. It spotted us not too long after, dashed across the street narrowly avoiding being hit by a car, and ran at Knightly and Paige. It reached them and started growling and I tried to push the dog away from them with my leg. It kept coming back and trying to bite Knightly. With two dogs, I couldn’t have picked them both up and if I hadn’t kept pushing that dog away, Knightly or Paige or both would have gotten seriously hurt. The owner reached us and finally picked up her dog. She breathlessly muttered sorry before walking away not even waiting to see if her dog had done any harm. I was too worried about ensuring Knightly and Paige were okay to really worry about her.
After checking them both over thoroughly and finding them to be shaken but not hurt I had to decide what to do. Obviously that dog had gotten away from it’s owners and is not regularly out on the streets so apart from it’s lack of socialization with other dogs it was an unnecessary and unfortunate accident but something I didn’t need to chase up. Both Knightly and Paige were physically fine but emotionally they were quite shaken. I debated taking them straight home and playing with their toys and feeding them treats until they felt better. But I then I thought that would really just make things worse. If I did that then the next walk we’d go on Knightly, Paige and I would have been uptight and even if we had met a friendly dog along the way – how would we all react? No that wasn’t the answer.
So I decided to continue on with our walk and try and put the whole experience behind us. For the rest of the walk Knightly in particular was upset. He had diarrhea and was not his usual relaxed self. Paige kept jumping up at me trying to get me to pick her up. It was quite upsetting to see the effect one badly socialized and aggressive dog can have on two such carefree happy dogs.
I was quite upset and angry and was even considering never walking Knightly and Paige around the neighborhood again. I felt all my work with both Knightly and Paige to make them feel safe and happy with me and their new lives (both Knightly and Paige are Rescue Dogs) was completely undermined.
Then a few houses from home a Spaniel was just getting home from his walk. His owner and I said hello but Knightly and Paige held back. Just as I was about to give up, the Spaniel came forward slowly to say hi to Knightly and Paige. Soon all three dogs were happily sniffing and wagging tails and it was like they were old friends. Knightly and Paige were so reluctant to leave their new friend that I had to pull on their leads just to get them home. By the time we got home they were back to their normal happy selves.
All of our walks since then have been uneventful, happy and fun occasions. But how differently it could all turn out just because of one unsocialized aggressive dog. The importance of socializing your dog goes far beyond having a friendly or well behaved dog (even though that is reward enough!). If your dog attacks another dog, animal or human, there are serious and long lasting consequences. You would have to live with the fact that your dog might traumatize, maim or kill another animal or human. And your own furry best friend might be put down. It is never too late to start working with your pet and start socializing them. Obviously each dog is different and because of that there are many Dog Professionals and Dog Obedience groups out there that can help you come up with the right way to start socializing your dog. It’s not impossible, it just takes effort and consistency and the results will make it all worth it!! Owning a dog should be fun, rewarding and fulfilling. If you are having to constantly worry that your dog might get away from you and attack another animal or human you are missing out on most of the fun stuff that comes from having a furry best friend!
Until next time, we hope all your walks are super fun!
Love Knightly, Paige and Lauren xoxo